Every year around this time The Body Shop releases their seasonal line of cranberry inspired body products. I say “inspired” because they don’t seem to have much in common with the little red berry other than the colour. I used to love the lip gloss, but once I started making all my own lip glosses and balms, I realized its overly sweet and sticky, with a rather sickly artificial fragrance. So, this year I thought I’d make my own.
The colour comes from a liquid carmine dye from Saffire Blue, but you could also use red oxide if you don’t have the carmine liquid dye. Carmine itself isn’t oil soluble, but this liquid carmine dye is, so unfortunately you can’t use plain old carmine, but red iron oxide works really nicely. Then there’s a bit of gold or copper mica for some Christmassy shimmer. Nice.
As for scent. Cranberries aren’t overly fragrant, and berries don’t produce essential oils, so obviously that’s not an option. So, I started thinking about what scents remind me of cranberries, and I landed on cranberry sauce pretty quickly. Orange, cinnamon, and cloves—though, sadly, orange was out thanks to photo sensitization, and cinnamon as it can be rather irritating. So I went with peppermint with a hint of cloves, bergamot (the bergaptene free version), and cardamom. It’s mostly peppermint, but with a bit of spicy, mellow depth. I love it!
Cranberry Lip Balm
12g virgin coconut oil
7g raw cocoa butter
19g sweet almond oil
1g Vitamin E oil
20 drops liquid carmine dye (or red oxide)
1 “smidgen” gold, copper, or bronze mica
4 drops bergaptene free bergamot essential oil
2 drops clove bud essential oil
2 drops cardamom essential oil
15 drops peppermint essential oil
Gently melt the oils together in a double boiler. Remove from the heat and stir in the carmine and mica. Let the mixture cool enough that the mica will stay in suspension (but it is still liquid). Pour into lip balm tubes (this will fill 10) and let set. Enjoy!